Monday, February 27, 2017

Important Lexia Information

Staff, students, and teachers in Washington Unified School District click, browse, and surf thousands of webpages on the internet every single day.  When we connect to those pages, they often will ask us to make choices about how we want our Web Browsers -- Google Chrome or Microsoft Internet Explorer -- to respond.  It can often be tricky to determine whether we should "allow" or "deny" these requests.

When should we "allow"?

Certain webpages WUSD knows are trusted sites.  Lexia, Thinkcentral, ConnectED, and others we have specifically contracted with to provide educational services to our district should always be "allowed" to run as asked.  Teach your students to choose correctly!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Video Options in Google Slides

Insert Video Google Slides Menu with Red Box around Google Drive
Starting today you'll see new, exciting video options for Google Drive.

You can now insert videos from Google Drive directly onto Google slides! Insert > Video > Choose Your Video Source (Previously you were limited to only using YouTube videos.) Just imagine the possibilities with student-created videos using WeVideo!

Regardless of the source of your video, you also now have more video options! Select the video on your slide and you'll see Video Options on your toolbar.

Video Options side bar with start and end optionsSelect Video Options on your toolbar and a menu will appear on the right.  Got a long video but only want to show 30 seconds of it? Now you can with ease! Video Options allows you to set the start and end time of your video. You can even set the video to autoplay when in present mode as well as mute audio. How will begin using these new video options in Google Slides?

Friday, February 10, 2017

2017 February 7 Tech Update: Upcoming JET Review February 13-14 & STU-CON 2017

JET Review
What is JET Review?
The Joint Educational Technology (JET) Review will be happening in Washington Unified on Monday/Tuesday, February 13 and 14.  The purpose of the JET review is to assess the school infrastructure as it relates to academic needs. The team will assess the district network (MDF and IDF cabinets and server rooms) and observe and report on technology use in classrooms via Ed Tech Rounds. In addition, they will host stakeholder interviews of District Office staff, IT Staff, Classified, Teachers, Administrators, and most importantly, Students.  These will be small groups of individuals that will take a short online survey and answer questions for the JET Review Team on site.
Why JET Review?
The JET Review team will provide a written report that will be used to inform decision-making regarding technology within Washington Unified as we continue to strive toward providing the best learning environment for our students.  My expectation is that everyone will provide honest feedback and do “business as usual” during classroom visits. Please do not do a special Technology lesson during their visit as this defeats the purpose of providing an accurate experience of a day in the life of WUSD classrooms.  Classroom visits will be random and teacher names and room numbers are not recorded.
Who will be on the JET Review Team?
Our JET Review Team will consist of the following Senior Level Educational and K-12 Technology Professional Leaders:
  • Tim Goree, Director of Technology Support Services, Fairfield-Suisun USD
  • Joe Ayala, Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology, Union SD
These individuals will be accompanied by a member of the Technology department at all times while on our campuses.

When and where will the JET Review Team visit?
The Team will visit the following sites on the following days/times:
Monday, February 13
8-10: District Office
10:15-1:20:  Westfield
2:05-4:40: River City
Tuesday, February 14
7:30-10:45: Southport
1:15-4:00: Riverbank
STU-CON 2017 – March 23, 2017
Check this out!!  There’s something for everyone at STU-CON 2017!
Teachers: Sign up your class team today  and enter a chance to win a half-day release time for you and your grade level team (TK-5), two periods (6-8), or 1 period (9-12).  Each student team = one entry!
All Students: Participate in STU-CON 2017 on March 23 and be entered into a door prize contest to win a Chromebook donated by CTL.
High School Students:  Open table for students who are interested in sharing their technology savviness that goes BEYOND the walls of the classroom! Sign up for a time slot for the open table.
Families and Community Members:  Light refreshments provided by the Culinary Arts Students from Bryte, fun music, information about low cost Wi-Fi at home, and a chance to win a CTL Chromebook as part of the door prizes!